Jim Black Ally Makes Deal That Will Keep Him Out Of Jail

A political ally of former House Speaker Jim Black won't be heading to jail after all.

M- Scott Edwards of Murfreesboro reached a plea deal with prosecutors yesterday and agreed to be sentenced for felony obstruction of justice. Edwards will have two years of supervised probation and must complete 100 hours of community service.

He also has to pay the State Board of Elections ten-thousand dollars toward the cost of investigating donations by optometrists.

Prosecutors had charged Edwards with four counts of perjury, accusing him of lying on campaign finance reports filed while he was treasurer of the North Carolina State Optometric Society's Political Action Committee in 2002 and 2003.

During that time, group members gave campaign money to Black, a Charlotte-area optometrist, and other legislators.